Is Symantec CEO's
time up? Cisco reunites again with old friends.
Of all the shows that convene in San Francisco,
Spencer likes the RSA Conference most of all. Where else can the
Rumor-Mongering Mouser go to see security spooks dressed like him in trench
coats and battered fedoras?
Gastronomic Gossip also likes the eats that are prevalent at this
smorgasbord-by-the-bay. We're talking smoked salmon, shrimp cocktail and clam
dip, washed down with a good Napa Valley Chardonnay-very much to the Katt's
most popular party on the second night of the show had to be Trend Micro's
soir??Â«e on the roof of the W Hotel by the Moscone Center. Thankfully, a large
clear plastic tent protected the partiers from the skin-chilling spring winds
blowing straight off the Pacific. A jazz combo and some fresh cut prime rib
also met with the Party Animal's approval.
Among the rumors
circulating within the RSA party circuit was speculation over when Symantec CEO John
Thompson is going to step down. "There's this unwritten rule that CEOs
shouldn't stay on the job more than 10 years because they become stale in the
job," whispered one security industry observer. "And Thompson's been in the job
for nine and a half years," the tipster said.
Symantec confirmed April 10 that it had laid off an unspecified number of
veteran employees, with many of them departing from the Veritas storage
news lent credence to the idea that Thompson might fall under pressure to
depart if he can't quickly make Symantec's storage division more competitive
with EMC and
HP. But Thompson was a key speaker at the show and doesn't appear to be going
Spencer felt the RSA festivities were only
just compensation for the fact his penny-pinching editors wouldn't let him fly to
Honolulu for the Cisco Partner Summit.
Grimalkin was intrigued by the news that emerged from the show that Cisco is
buying the last 20 percent of Nuova Systems it didn't already own. This is
significant because Nuova was started by four former Cisco high-level
executives: Mario Mazzola, Prem Jain, Luca Cafiero and Soni Jiandani.
first invested in Nuova in 2006 and already owns 80 percent of the company.
Cisco has used this startup strategy before by funding a spin-off founded by
those same trusted, high-level execs they later brought back into the fold.
A source told Spencer the
Andiamo project that resulted in Cisco's old storage switch was spun that way,
too. Cisco has found this is an effective way to develop new products with
minimal risk and lots of potential upside.
one pundit offered Spencer another theory: With Cisco's stock price flat, it's
one way to give those executives a nice payoff. The deal with Nuova is
structured such that if the Nexus 5000 switch they developed is a great
success, the payout could be as much as $678 million. If not, it's a lot less.
"That certainly lends a special meaning to the phrase, -no guts, no gravy,'"
quipped the Katt. ??
Spill your guts at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or give the Katt a howl at 415-547-8409.